Scarpa North America Blog

Category Archives: Trips

Everest in Alpine Style: Processing an Early Homecoming

Jul. 7th 2015

Editor’s Note: On April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and the region around Mt. Everest killing over 9,000 people including at least 19 at base camp on the Nepali side of the mountain. SCARPA athlete and college professor Raphael Slawinski was on the peak’s northern base camp in China when the quake struck attempting a new alpine-style route up the mountain’s northeast face. Though the north side of Everest was relatively unscathed, the Chinese government promptly closed the mountain for climbing, ending his groundbreaking summit attempt. 

Shrine at Mt. Everest

A shrine near Mt. Everest

Mt. Everest Earthquake
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From Yosemite to Baffin: Dave Allfrey’s First Ascent on the Great Cross Pillar

Jun. 29th 2015

Editor’s Note: On May 19th, SCARPA athlete Dave Allfrey and his partner Cheyne Lempe summited the Great Cross Pillar on Baffin Island via their new route Deconstructing Jenga (Grade VI 5.9+, A3+, 900m) after a 10-day push. We asked Dave to explain why he searches out new routes on remote big walls.

From the first time that I walked to the base of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley I knew that big wall climbing would captivate me. Laying my hands on the granite with the wall soaring more than half a mile overhead, I fell in love with the idea of passing day after day in the wild vertical world. To this day, the thought of days or weeks on the wall makes my heart race with excitement.

One of the bivys on Deconstructing Jenga.
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The Best Climbing Gear for Trad and Alpine Routes

Jun. 24th 2015

Last August, SCARPA athlete Shingo Ohkawa spent month in search of first descents on the classic vertical walls of Wyoming’s spectacular Wind River Range. While he and his partners horsepacked in to base camp, it was all human-powered effort from there. Long days on approach and even longer days in a harness and climbing shoes allowed Shingo to really abuse the best SCARPA has to offer for this style of climbing. While an unseasonably wet and cold August shut them out of many of his objectives, he still came back with some glowing reviews. These are the SCARPA shoes that got him too the wall and up it, including an FA on the West Face of Helen’s Tower 1.

Wind River Range Vista
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What I’ve Learned: Dan Beall Talks his Buttermilks Super Project “The Process” (V16)

Jun. 24th 2015

This winter marked the culmination of my longest project, originally The Grandpa Project, now “The Process” (V16) after a Daniel Woods FA, in the Buttermilks near Bishop, California. Though this season ended regrettably with the destruction of the crux hold rather than a send, I still learned a lot about working a project of this magnitude. Like most people, the bulk of my climbing is on things that I can do relatively quickly. Seven days is the most I’ve spent on a line that I’ve actually completed, yet I’ve been invested in The Grandpa Project for 5 years now. As I spent more and more time on this line, discovering, cleaning, and preparing the line itself, overcoming injury, hold breakage, and weather, I’ve realized that my motivations and approach needed to be much different than they would be for normal climbing.

Dan Beall works The Grandpa Project in The Buttermilks
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Seven Spring Crags That Aren’t Indian Creek

Mar. 26th 2015

You know winter’s running out of steam when you start dreaming of splitter cracks, perfect pockets and desert towers. That glorious red sand has a way of permeating every article of clothing and crevice of our brains– and we love it. It’s a sign of spring as much as baby bunnies and flowers. Yet if for some reason you’re hoping to switch things up this season, have a look at these other spring crags which feature cool rock and tons of route variety for your soft, pale winter body.

Michael Rosato on top of The Cube Boulder in Red Rock, NV. Photo Credit: Jeremy Thomley

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Skiing the Antarctic Peninsula

Nov. 7th 2013

Doug Stoup has been pioneering ski descents along the Western Antarctic Peninsula since 2000. He’s led 15 expeditions to the peninsula and says it is by far one of the most spectacular ski destinations on the planet. One of Stoup’s biggest challenges organizing a trip like this is accommodating 120 skier’s different needs and expectations. “Most of the client’s goal is to ski Antarctica,” said Stoup. “My goal is for them to become an ambassador for the continent. The Antarctic is a place I fell in love with and it has not disappointed anyone.”

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Ski Mountaineering the Grand Teton with Jason Dorais

Aug. 1st 2013

When Jason Dorais and longtime ski buddy, Lars Kjerengtroen tackled the the Grand Teton this spring, they lucked out with near perfect conditions for ski mountaineering. The snowpack they encountered while cramponing up Tepee Glacier and then to the Glencoe Couloir proved to be stable in the early morning. But as they reached the Stettner Couloir, the bright sun was causing snowmelt, increasing the chance of wet slab avalanches, so the team increased their climbing pace to reach the summit before conditions became too dangerous.

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Espana Tranquila: Relaxing Spain

May. 30th 2013

SCARPA team member and frequent climber, Scott Bennett, recently spent a few months in Spain on what he calls an “everyman’s Spanish climbing trip.” Bennett hails from Michigan but once he discovered climbing moved to Boulder, Colo. where he works part-time for SCARPA and spends the rest of his time at local climbing spots or planning his next expedition.

Forest Woodward is no sissy alpine climber!
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Putting It Into Perspective: A walk through SCARPA’s factory floor

Apr. 5th 2013

Until you reach the source, it’s often hard to fully understand how products are imagined, designed and created. Last week, a group of North American media and folks from SCARPA’s North American arm made the pilgrimage to the small agrarian town of Asolo, Italy, to have a look into how the 75-year-old company stays on top. When we arrived in the front office on that rainy March afternoon, one thing became abundantly clear: it’s a family affair.

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Steady As She Goes: Big mountain backcountry skier Kellie Okonek sounds off on injury, engineering and striking that even balance

Feb. 19th 2013

Kellie Okonek

Kellie Okonek is out for the season, thanks to a blown anterior cruciate ligament, but she’s already had a bigger start that most of us, having just returned from a trans-Pacific tour to southern Japan, so she’s not sweating it. The Alaskan engineer turned ski mountaineer is on the recovery, but nevertheless remains in the full stride of life. We were able to get a hold of her post-surgery, and get some insight on the coming year as her knee heals and plans unfold.

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